Light Years by Kass Morgan | ARC Review

LIGHT YEARS BY KASS MORGAN

Genre: YA, Sci-fi

Publication Date: October 9th 2018

Source: NOVL

Synopsis:
Reeling from the latest attack by a mysterious enemy, the Quatra Fleet Academy is finally admitting students from every planet in the solar system after centuries of exclusivity.

Hotshot pilot Vesper, an ambitious Tridian citizen, dreams of becoming a captain – but when she loses her spot to a brilliant, wisecracking boy from the wrong side of the asteroid belt, it makes her question everything she thought she knew. Growing up on the toxic planet Deva, Cormak will take any chance he can get to escape his dead-end life and join the Academy – even if he has to steal someone’s identity to do it. Arran was always considered an outsider on icy Chetire, always dreaming of something more than a life working in the mines. Now an incoming cadet, Arran is looking for a place to belong – he just never thought that place would be in the arms of a Tridian boy. And Orelia is hiding a dark secret – she’s infiltrated the Academy to complete a mission, one that threatens the security of everyone there. But if anyone finds out who she really is, it’ll be her life on the line.

These cadets will have to put their differences aside and become a team to defend their world from a cunning enemy – but the danger might be lurking closer to home than they think…

Goodreads | Amazon 

I am obsessed with the tv show The 100. I own the ebooks by Kass Morgan, but never got around to reading them yet. When I saw this book coming out I knew I had to pick it up. A diverse set of characters with drama, secrets and competition all taking place in space, how could I say no.

From the very first page Morgan pulls you into the life of the characters with the interesting story of who they are and where they come from. In a world very different from ours it was intriguing to learn more about these planets and what life is like in space. I have to say I do wish at times that there was more description and time spent on the world building, but I can say one thing, Morgan does real well with the character storylines and telling more than one at a time.

I loved how the book was told from 4 POVs and each one was so different and had such a different background and voice. Their storylines intertwine with each other, but each of the 4 are so diverse and have secrets and opinions they are keeping from everyone else. I love that you get to see it all play out with the rotating POVs. It is hard to pick just one to be my favorite, but I really liked the character development and storyline of Orelia.

I flew through the book with the suspenseful, drama filled plot that keep you wanting to know what was going to happen. The short chapters with alternate POVs also helped to drive the plot and story along. I had a hard time setting the book down and got really invested in the characters. It also had an ending I didn’t expect and definitely has me needing the next installment.

Overall this is such an indulgent space drama, based in a boarding school, that is perfect for a fast fall read! I think this is going to be a really great series that has all the elements you would want in a book series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the book/tv show The 100 by Kass Morgan or The Thousandth Floor by Katherine Mcgee!

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Seventh Born by Monica Sanz | ARC Review


SEVENTH BORN BY MONICA SANZ

Genre: YA, Fantasy,Paranormal

Publication Date: Sept. 4, 2018

Source: Entangled Publishing in return for an honest review

Synopsis:
Abomination. Curse. Murderer. All names hurled at eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, she’s the cause of her mother losing her powers and, in turn, her life.

Abandoned as a child, Sera dreams of becoming an inspector and finding her family. To do that, she must be referred into the Advanced Studies Program at the Aetherium’s Witchling Academy. Her birth order, quick temper, and tendency to set things on fire, however, have left her an outcast with failing marks…and just what Professor Nikolai Barrington is looking for.

The tall, brooding, yet exceedingly handsome young professor makes her a proposition: become his assistant and he’ll give her the referral she needs. Sera is quickly thrust into a world where witches are being kidnapped, bodies are raised from the dead, and someone is burning seventhborns alive. As Sera and Barrington grow ever closer, she’ll discover that some secrets are best left buried…and fire isn’t the only thing that makes a witch burn.

Goodreads | Amazon 


*I would like to thank Entangled Publishing and the author for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

 

Seventh Born was like visiting an old friend. It had those elements from the stories and series we love. For me it was pulling inspirations from Harry Potter and Vampire Academy, taking place at a boarding school, magic, mystery, a dab of romance & forbidden love . Not to say I am comparing it to those books, but it was definitely reminiscent of those stories for me and gave me those warm fuzzy feelings of nostalgia. Monica Sanz worked some of her own magic in developing a setting and backstory that was so intriguing and mixed with the elements of magic and mystery, it kept me on the edge of my seat, devouring the book.

Sera was an amazing main character that has her own flaws, but is really trying to find herself and her place in this world in which she doesn’t belong/wanted. I loved her determination and loyalty. I think her confidence and strength are exactly the qualities that a female lead should have in a book to be a great role model for young girls. She is my favorite character, but I quite enjoyed some of the others, they were complex and well thought out with depth that also gave you a concern for what would happen to them in the end regardless of some events that took place.

This book definitely came as a shock to me and surprised me with how quickly I got drawn into the story and how much I need to rest of the series like last week. Overall I don’t know how I can wrap up my feelings about this story without it being a complete gush. From the backstory and history of this world to the present day happenings and unsolved mystery, It created such an atmosphere and places you within the story trying to figure out what is happening right along Sera. There was a wide array of characters each with their own struggles and personalities that have you invested in the people as much as the plot. The overall atmosphere is what you would expect from a mystery novel, it is dark and a little creepy and then add in the fantasy elements, creating such an unknown which drives forward the story. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I think it has elements that could appease a wide audience and believe the story deserves attention!

 

Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel | ARC Review

 

KEEPER OF THE BEES BY MEG KASSEL

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Entangled Teen Publishing in return for an honest review

Publication Date: September 4th 2018

Synopsis:
Keeper of the Bees is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.

Goodreads | Amazon

 *I would like to thank Entangled Teen Publishing for the chance to read and review this book in return for my honest opinion!*

The unique mythology that was first presented in the companion novel, Black Birds of the Gallows, is continued in Keeper of the Bees. We are first introduced to the curse of the bees in the first novel, but are keep quite in the dark about the backstory and details. I enjoyed the first book and found the mythology to be quite intriguing and the story to be unlike anything I had read before. I felt like it left so many questions unanswered and found many of those answers in Keeper of the Bees.

I enjoyed this story so much more than the first. Dresden and his story had me wanting more and to know the why and how of what he was and how he became that way. Although I had slight issues with the romance (a little too insta lovey for me) there were parts of it I understood and like seeing the development. I quite enjoyed the relationship between Dresden and the other harbingers.

Overall this book was a quick read that was layered with mystery and creative mythology that had me guessing until the end. I definitely liked this one better than its companion novel and I am interested to see if there will be another focused on the last mythical being that is only touched on. There is romance, murder and the impending doom that follows the harbingers.

 

Uncharted by Erin Cashman| ARC Review

UNCHARTED BY ERIN CASHMAN

Genre: YA, Mystery, Paranormal

Publication Date: September 4 2018

Source: Page Street Publishing in return for an honest review

Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Annabeth prefers the fantasy of her books and paintings to reality—because in reality, her mom is dead, and it was all her fault. When she accompanies her father to the funeral of some family friends who drowned, she’s surprised to find her grief reflected in the face of Griffin Bradford, the son of the couple who died. Griffin is nothing like the carefree boy she once knew. Now he’s irritable, removed, and he’s under police investigation for his parents’ deaths.

One night following the memorial service, Annabeth’s dad goes missing in the woods, and she suspects Griffin knows more about the disappearance than he’s letting on. He refuses to answer her questions, particularly those related to the mysterious “expedition” his parents took to Ireland, where they went missing for seven months.

Annabeth fears her father isn’t lost, but rather a victim of something sinister. She launches her own investigation, tracing clues that whisper of myth and legend and death, until she stumbles upon a secret. One that some would die to protect, others would kill to expose—and which twists Annabeth’s fantasy and reality together in deadly new ways.

Goodreads | Amazon

 *I would like to thank Page Street for the chance to read and review this book in return for my honest opinion!*

This story was a unique blend of Irish myth, mystery and family/friendships. It came as a complete surprise to me as I had not heard much about it before I was sent the ARC. I was drawn in from the very beginning with the mystery that was set into motion and has you guessing the entire story of what is actually happening. I thought I had it figured out multiple times, but was shocked with the twists and turns. There is such a dreamy element to this story and it is enhanced by the layer of Irish myth that is woven throughout the story. I thought Cashman did a fantastic job with the development of the myth and loved the fantastical elements that were dreamed up to build this story.

Other than the mythology and fantastical elements that helped to drive forward the story and the mystery, there was secret societies, family, friendship, and romance. I loved that Cashman was able to incorporate so many different elements into the book and I thought it made for such a unique and rich novel! Annabeth and Griffin were such interesting characters. The family ties and the characters background together were really intriguing and were played out so well. It was those ties that were important to the storyline and were an aspect so well crafted by Cashman. Although I did enjoy the characters and their development through the story my favorite part was the background story.

Overall Uncharted had captivated me from the very beginning and did not let me go until the very end. The mystery and secrets pull you into the story of Annabeth, Griffin and their families and it is the ongoing mystery of solving the issues that arise and the fantastical elements that provide a dream like vision that have you transported into the story. I highly recommend this book and think it is a must read of 2018!

 

The Queen Underneath by Stacey Filak | ARC Review


THE QUEEN UNDERNEATH
BY STACEY FILAK

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publication Date: May 8th 2018

Synopsis:
The Above and the Under have a tenuous truce that is shattered after the death of both their respective rulers. Gemma, the new queen of Under, must throw history aside and team up with Tollan, the heir to the Above throne, in order to take down a power that seeks to rule them all.

Their group of rebels is comprised of an assassin, a sex worker, and a palace servant from Above, and we follow their unique perspectives as they are forced to question previously held beliefs. But even with war looming, romance still grows. Challenging gender roles and the expectation that every prince must have a princess, Tollan discovers love with Elam—a young man, a sex worker, and one of Gemma’s closest friends.

Goodreads | Amazon

 *I would like to thank Page Street for the chance to read and review this book in return for my honest opinion!*

I am not sure where to start with this review because I wanted to like the book so much. I was super excited when I got sent this book for review and its said to be a spin on Sleeping Beauty. I have to say I was caught off guard while reading because it is marketed as a YA, but I would say it is a little mature to be considered YA. I believe the world building fell short, I was so intrigued by the world concept and loved that the underneath was filled with assassins, thieves and prostitutes and that the above was complete opposite. I needed more. There was so much that could have been done and Filak set the stage for a world that had so much potential. The book was just too short and didn’t achieve what I felt like it could have. I felt like there could have been a ton more character development as well. I really think Filak could have made a whole series off of this concept. That being said I thought their were some great characters and really enjoyed Gemma. There were some references to Sleeping Beauty, but I am not sure I would have marketed it as a spin off. The biggest thing I had an issue with was how often the word “prick/prickling” was used. I have a huge problem with repetition of words, but I also just thought it was excessive.

I know this seems like a bash, but I did enjoy the book and was immediately pulled in within the first chapter and wanted to know what was going to happen the whole time. There were some steamy parts and times I was on the edge of my seat with the twists and turns. I really appreciated that the chapters were headed with the area in the world in which that chapter was taking place, it helped to place myself and develop the world in my head. The Queen Underneath, had some kickass characters and a strong lead female which is always nice to see! I loved the rough edges she had, but also a soft side that was super caring.

Overall I enjoy the story but the main take away is I needed more and wanted more from Filak.

 

Phoenix Fire by SD Grimm | ARC Review

PHOENIX FIRE BY SD GRIMM

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publication Date: March 5th 2018

Synopsis: 
After spending her life in foster care, Ava has finally found home. But all it takes is a chance encounter with hot nerd Wyatt Wilcox for it to unravel.

Now, things are starting to change. First, the flashes of memories slowly creeping in. Memories of other lives, lives that Wyatt is somehow in. Then, the healing. Any cut? Gone.

But when Cade and Nick show up, claiming to be her brothers, things get even weirder. They tell her she’s a Phoenix, sent to protect the world from monsters—monsters she never knew existed. It’s a little hard to accept. Especially when they tell her she has to end the life of a Phoenix turned rogue, or Cade will die.

With Wyatt’s increasingly suspicious behavior, Ava’s determined to figure out what he’s hiding. Unless she can discover Wyatt’s secret in time and complete her Phoenix training, she’ll lose the life, love, and family she never thought she could have.

Goodreads | Amazon

 *I would like to thank Entangled Teen for the chance to read and review this book in return for my honest opinion!*

I am not even sure where to start with this review. Let me start by saying PHOENIX !!!! This is the first book I have ever read that focused on the phoenix and I thought S.D Grimm did a good job developing a story off of the phoenix and creating this whole world and backstory for the Phoenix and their purpose in our world. Now let me also say that the phoenix was not the only mythical creature that made an appearance.

I don’t want to say much about the phoenix incorporation or backstory because you learn more throughout the whole story alongside the characters, but the whole idea of rebirth and past lives has always intrigued me. Grimm was able to slowly reveal the story and have the characters put in together piece by piece with such great detail and thought. The story was complex and had a lot of moving pieces for awhile that I was pulled even deeper in trying to figure out what had happened, what was happening and what was going to be the result.

I am not usually a huge fan of multiple POV but thought it worked so well for how this story was being told and in putting together all the pieces. Each of the characters had their strengths and weaknesses. There were quite a few times I found myself screaming at Ava and the choices she made. All the different interactions and relationships really added to the story.

Overall I enjoyed this story and the way it was written. It had me on the edge of my seat at times and had me yelling at characters at other times. I loved the fact that it revolved around the idea of this Phoenix community and would love to see more books incorporate the idea of phoenix. The world building and background development were well though out and I didn’t feel like I had a lot of questions that went unanswered which is always a plus. Grimm balanced the characters and multiple POVs so well and really drove the story forward at a nice pace. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys paranormal reads or wants to experience an interesting novel containing phoenix!

The Wonder Of You by Harper Kincaid | Book Review

The Wonder of You by Harper Kincaid

Modern Alice in Wonderland Re-telling

Releasing February 13, 2018

Add the book to Goodreads

Synopsis:

What if Alice didn’t fall down the rabbit hole, but instead, traveled through
Lincoln Tunnel into another kind of Wonderland:
New York City.

The best day of twenty-five year old Alice Leighton’s life was the day she got to put her nothing special, lil Southern town in her rear-view mirror. Good-bye to phony ‘bless your hearts’ and ‘I’ll pray for you’ crap, all while talking trash behind her back. She’s New York City’s latest addition and she’s going to work her ass off proving she earned her spot in the country’s top grad program.
Never again will she let some jerk derail her future and break her heart. Oh, and no more players. She’s D.O.N.E with the ‘cool guys’.
Getting caught up in Dare Grangeworth, the art world’s resident bad boy, was not part of her Alice 2.0 plan, even if he is just her type, with his beard, tats sleeves and intense green eyes. When he’s not dodging the press or his cultish fan base, Dare’s making art that makes a statement. Women seem to lose their heads around him – all the more reason why he finds Alice’s candor refreshing. He’s used to women giving in – not giving attitude.
He has to get to know this girl, even if it means allowing himself to be the subject of her research. Before too long, he becomes more than a simple outlier she can explain away. And for him everything starts to feel larger than life and upside down, like a heady rush, all while desperately trying not to lose his heart.
Become lost and found in this re-imagined story of Alice and her cast of characters, in a world where Wonderland meets Sex-and-the-City.

*Thank you Inkslinger PR and Harper Kincaid for the chance to read and review The Wonder of You! *

I am a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland if you didn’t already know. This book sounded interesting and different from anything I have read and I was really intrigued by it.

I still am unsure how I overall feel about this book. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it didn’t include Alice in Wonderland references. It was a little cheesy and the way the words associated with Alice in Wonderland were just thrown around, threw me off a bit. I think it would have been better if the characters were described more as the Wonderland characters rather than saying things like “his Mad Hatter nonsense” . I also thought the little line and cliches that Alice said all the time were a little annoying.

I did really like the characters though.Alice was a sassy fierce southern-belle and the other woman in the story were just as great! Dare was the tall dark and handsome type and had a great sense of humor.

Overall I still think I need some time to process and figure out how I really feel. I think I need to pretend like isn’t labeled as an Alice reimagining because that really has me caught up. It was a fun , short story with entertaining characters and of course the steamy moments.

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee | Book Review

THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR BY KATHARINE MCGEE

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia

“I believe in happiness. I’m just not sure love will actually get you there.”
― Katharine McGee, The Thousandth Floor

Synopsis:
NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….

Goodreads | Amazon


A Futuristic Manhattan Gossip Girl!
~Drama, Lies, Friendships, Secrets, Relationships~

I really had not heard much about this book except for when it first came out. I saw it at my library as an audiobook and thought I would give it a try. I was extremely happy that I did. This book was no mean perfect, it had its flaws but overall it was fun and delivered on what it was. I struggled with a rating because there were areas in which I wanted more, but I decided that I really enjoyed the read, it surprised me and had a lot going on that I definitely thought it could earn the 5 stars from me.

If you have ever watched/read Gossip Girl you will definitely notice some parallels with some of the characters, but don’t let that deter you because it is completely its own story with some awesome futuristic creations and a mystery that the whole books lead up to solving.

The book starts off with an event that happened with little detail and has you trying to figure out the whole time who it was and what happened. It is told in multiple POV and had tons of drama, lies, secrets and intrigue that keep me flying through the story. So much was going on with all of the characters that had that guilty indulgent pull of needing to know more and had me lapping up all of the drama going on. On top of the dramatic pull there was the layer of science fiction. This is one area that I would have loved more on, but it was not needed for the overall story. The concept of this futuristic Manhattan and all the cool innovations that are in this world definitely added to the story. I really enjoyed the idea of how the tower works and thought it very well described the way our society would look like in this setting. The mode of transportation was definitely my favorite, especially the transatlantic.

The cast of characters were all diverse and each had their flaws. No one is safe from secrets and lies, but it was true to the way people that age act. And although there was not a lot of parental presences, I enjoyed that they were there and that it wasn’t like much of futuristic/dystopian YA with all of the parents missing.

I do not want to go into much because I do not want to give anything away. But overall I really found this book to be a fun quick read that was full of surprises and had me trying to figure out the ending the whole way through. It is loaded with drama and has some really interesting innovations and science fiction add ons that make this a great thriller that can be enjoyed by a variety of people. And even though the one mystery is solved at the end, the book definitely leads off with you needing more and wanting to know what comes of the event that takes place.

My biggest struggle with audiobook usually falls onto the narrator. I really enjoyed Phoebe Strole. She had a narration style that did not bore me to pieces or annoy the crap out of me. She did not try and change her voice to sound like a male (which is my biggest pet peeve with narrators). I would definitely listen to other books she narrated!

 

Dear Martin by Nic Stone | Book Review

DEAR MARTIN BY NIC STONE

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

“You can’t change how other people think and act, but you’re in full control of you.”
Nic Stone, Dear Martin

Synopsis:
Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

Goodreads | Amazon 

I am going to try and make this short and not go off into any discussions because I don’t have any intention in starting something or offend anyone because I know this book and the content is a hot topic. Being a white female I have no experience to even begin to have an understanding of what it is like to be a black male. Nic Stone created a story that allowed me to have a little more insight into what they face and their thoughts/feelings. I think it is very important, with all of the incidents and events that have been taking place in our country in the last few years, to educate and create those areas for dialog. The things that happen in Dear Martin are so real and so relevant to what is actually happening in society. It saddens me to all of the police brutality and the things that are taking place. I was in Baltimore during the riots after what had happened to Freddie Gray and that was really my first introduction to all that was going on. That is why a book like Dear Martin is so important for everyone to read and especially to be introduced to the younger generations. The topics of race and equality cause a lot of disagreements and is such a “taboo” thing to talk about. Even in the book Stone has the group of kids address these topics and much like how the conversation went in the class, that is how it is happening in our society. Although I will still never know what it is like to be in Justyce’s shoes, I thought Stone did an amazing job in really describing Justyce’s emotions, thoughts and feelings. I think this is how changes begin to be made, if someone has never gone through something, or something doesn’t happen directly to them they sometimes don’t pay attention to what else is going on to other. I was able to gain some more knowledge and insight that I greatly appreciate Stone sharing through the voice of Justyce. ( I hope this comes out right,I had a hard time trying to put my thoughts into words.)

Now onto the rest of the book. I have to say this is one of the first books I have read that is from a young mans point of view that shows them being so much more than the brooding/bad boy/ love interest. Justyce showed vulnerability and was so real. He had his flaws, but he had to deal with some real life situations and really thought about his actions. Obviously there were some problematic situations that took place and it was interesting to see how those different situations were handled by Justyce and what he shared with Martin. I really enjoyed that there were some great adults present and loved the role they played in the overall story. I did have a couple issues with the format in which parts of the book were told (I listened to the audiobook so that might be the reason) I also felt like it was too fast, there were some areas that could have been more developed.

Overall I found this to be an extremely moving book. It was a story filled with real life, relationships, hard topics and deep raw emotion. I thought Justyce was an amazing character and really enjoyed his development and his thoughts and sharing with Martin. He came to some conclusions and learned a lot. I flew through this book and did not walk away with dry eyes. This was a real, honest and thought provoking book.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake | Book Review

ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD BY KENDARE BLAKE

Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Series: Anna Duology
Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)

“I’ve seen most of what
there is to be afraid of in this world, and to tell you the truth,
the worst of them are the ones that make you afraid in the
light. The things that your eyes see plainly and can’t forget
are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination.
Imagination has a poor memory; it       slinks away and goes
blurry. Eyes remember for much longer.”
― Kendare Blake, Anna Dressed in Blood

Synopsis:
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

Goodreads | Amazon 

So I am trying to go back through some of the books I have read and write reviews, I read this back in Oct. and figured it was time.

Kendare Blake managed to write a unique story that was dark and gory, but yet still had me rooting for character you shouldn’t. I enjoyed that this books has unexpected twists and had some deeper and more moving moments. ‘

This was my first time reading a book with a ghost that was done well. Blake did not sugar coat the death and horror. It had me yelled at the book like I do when I watch horror movies. It was so interesting to learn about Cas’s back story and the world of hunting that he lives in. I would have loved to learn more because it was fun to learn about different ghost he had hunted. I did think the way the book began was absolutely perfect and really set the stage for the rest of the book.

Cas was a very likable character and much like any cocky teenage boy. He is the lonely boy that rides into a different town all the time and sometimes makes some silly decisions. Cas’s mom was my favorite character, she was that kooky witchy type. Then of course there is Anna, who is the ghost that Cas heads into Thunder Bay to kill, only it would not be that easy for him. I thought her story really made this book, she is such a complex character and one you cant help, but cheer for.

Overall this book was dark, gory but ultimate a phenomenal original story. It is the first real horror YA book I have read that I actually enjoyed. The atmosphere was perfect and definitely had that spooky, cabin in the middle of the woods vibe. It deals with some deep issues, love, family and friends! This  book is so suspenseful and pulls you right in, its such a quick read and I could not put it down. It completely surprised me and I liked the book a lot more than I thought I would. It deals with some deep issues, love, family and friends. I am excited to see what happens in the following books.